Bids invited for Kashmir road tunnels

11 June 2020

India’s government announced on June 10 that it is accepting fresh bids for the construction of the Zojila Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir in the north of the country. Located on the Sonamarg-Kargil section of National Highway-01 from Srinagar to Leh, construction of the tunnel will allow all-year travel across the Ladakh region.

The proposed works for the 14km-long, single-tube, bi-directional tunnel will also include drainage, loop roads, vehicle hard standing area, avalanche protection structures, retaining walls and protection works.

However, the project has a history of delays, with bids having been invited numerous times since 2014. This has seen the government cancel a bid from IRB Infrastructure; followed by the¬ termination of the contract awarded to winning bidder IL&FS Transportation after the company ran into financial trouble.  ¬¬¬

Bids have also been invited for an 18.5km connecting road between the proposed Zojila tunnel and the Z-Morh tunnel currently under construction. Building the road will require the construction of two twin-tube unidirectional tunnels totalling nearly 2.4km at Nilghar.

Together, the government-funded Zojila and connecting road contracts are valued at around Rs4,430 crore (USD585m), said the Economic Times of India.